Southeastern Railway see passenger numbers fall

Figures released last week show that passenger numbers on Southeastern fell by 2.4% in Jan-Mar 2018 compared with a year earlier.

Numerous explanations have been given. The “beast from the east ” resulted in service cuts and large drops in people travelling to work. Southeastern services were only two an hour on a few weekdays in March.

Image courtesy of Network Rail. London Bridge work.

Indeed, when looking at the number of trains that operated there was a reduction in services of around 7% from 1.2 million kilometers to 1.1 million when comparing Q4 2017/18 to Q4 2016/17. That means that despite a 2.4% fall in passengers trains were still busier on average.

Other possible reasons for falls on a national level include a greater number of people working from home. Season Ticket fare rises ordered by the Department for Transport of 3.4% also occurred (and higher if using Oyster Pay As You Go).

The disastrous introduction of Thameslink services could hamper numbers in this quarter, though weekend services are now far improved from 2015-18 when London Bridge and Crossrail work saw many weekends disrupted.

National issues

A similar issue of passnger number reductions were seen in many areas over the past year. Thameslink and Southern issues have had a major impact, and South West Trains had strike action and closures of Waterloo station had a big impact. London Overground also saw the entire GOBLIN line closed from 1st-15th January.

Thameslink and Northern Rail’s current issues could have large long term repercussions as people give up on railways.

We’ll only be able to see the real fallout once services finally return to normal (and that’ll take many months) and engineering work on multiple lines conclude.

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

One thought on “Southeastern Railway see passenger numbers fall

  • June 21, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    I don’t agree about better weekend services being better than before. On one recent weekend day we were down to two train an hour on the Greenwich line because of engineering work between Plumstead and Dartford. When there’s engineering, the default seems to be to run a minimal frequency even though it’s possible to run something more appealing.


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